Memorials can take all shapes and sizes:
Sculptures, golf courses, chapels, services, a memorial run or an observance day, like yesterday, the last Monday in May: Memorial Day.
These examples are planted: some in DC, or the center of your town, or square at the end of a month in spring. They’re set aside and not always with us.
One memorial, in the words of Thomas Dunn English, that we can all carry with us is our freedom.
… the freedom that they fought for,
and the country grand they wrought for,
is their monument to-day, and for aye.
This was a concept I was introduced to these past couple years, but more wholly understood when I set out to help with 1001 Things to Love about Military Life. The fallen warriors and Gold Star families who we met and learned about were surprising in their fervor and belief that their sacrifices were tragic but served a greater purpose. It’s surprising that they hold no bitterness (most Gold Star families), which can only mean that they truly love their country, serving its people and needs without regard for themselves.
That greater purpose is my freedom, my children’s freedom, and this country they wrought for.
Because it’s not free, I’ve always felt duty-bound to appreciate what was paid to make it feel free to me.
…amazing strength and committed sacrifice…
That is what military members and their families (of yesterday and today) embody. It’s what we thanked them for when we dedicated “1001” and they are things to love about military life.
I for one wanted to honor that with my own military service once and, of course, now the book.
My memorial book.
Honoring them, this life they chose, and all they stand for is the least I can do:
yesterday and for aye.
For more about “1001 Things to Love about Military Life” visit www.lovemilitarylife.com.
To hear an interview with all the authors visit www.blogtalkradio.com/awtr/2011/11/22/
Photo of Star’s daughter courtesy of KLSmith Photography